Useless (Photo credit: rutty)

Interior Design

Interior Design (Photo credit: chooyutshing)

Conclusion: We cannot be left to our own devices to choose how we want to decorate our homes. We are just not ‘on trend’ enough.

I have come to this conclusion due to the many, many home magazines that take it upon themselves to tell us what is on trend, and how we can incorporate this “trendiness” into our otherwise dismal and dull lives.  Sometimes they will even use the word trend itself beside a chosen item, just in case we are too thick to recognize the trend.  A trend by whatever definition you want to use can be a craze, a “look”, a fad, or a specific style considered in vogue. One thing all trends have in common is that they are fleeting.

I have never been trendy, preferring instead to use whatever innate skills I may have to “decorate” my home, but I must admit that these magazines do provide inspiration and creative vision when mine seems to be on vacation. And let’s face it—most of us are not born with perfect decorating skills. At times, we need to be directed ever so gently so we can hone and perfect whatever skills we may possess.

Some of the design books are *outré niche oriented. I came across one that was touted as a ‘must have’ called, “When is a chair not a chair”. To me the answer is obvious, but if someone wrote a whole book on the topic, then it must be a little deeper subject than I give it credit for.

As a writer I have had the occasion to meet a number of bone fide interior decorators and interior designers. They are really quite lovely people, but they speak a different language than most of us. And their eye for detail is, well, exhaustively in depth and meticulous, which is why, I suppose, they are hired. At one time I thought that hiring an interior designer or decorator was just a waste of money, but for those who can afford it (and I will count myself among them once I win the lottery, or write the Great Canadian novel and have it made into a movie of the week) they are worth their weight in gold. Seriously, these people know what they are talking about. And they are not just trendy, trying to force their vision on those who hire them. They listen to what their clients want and become in essence their “fairy godmother” and/or the male equivalent.

My advice to anyone wanting to change things up a bit, but do not have much money is to take what you have and place it in a different room (no, this does not mean putting your bathtub in the living room).  Alas, this is not an original idea of mine—I read it somewhere, but I think it is good counsel. Also, you can create little design vignettes throughout your house with books and pictures and loved objets d’art. I have little vignettes throughout my house that are intentional, and I have some that are unintentional. The unintentional vignettes take the form of stacks of files and papers and books in my office and folded but not put away laundry. Most people would not refer to these as vignettes, but “a mess” sounds so crass.

As with all things, being on trend is in the mind of the beholder. Though orange seems to be the on trend colour this year, if you are not a pumpkin fanatic as I am, you might find it hard to incorporate this colour into your decorating scheme. My advice: forget about it and just surround yourself with the things you like.

*outré means excessively in this context—just wanted you to think I was smart.

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I used to love looking through decorating magazines, but more often than not I would get annoyed at the ridiculousness of the things I was reading. Like, “purchase antique books to decorate your shelves” or “recover all of your books so that they look nice on your shelves”. What is wrong with putting books that you have read on your shelves?

    I love beautiful things too – and aspire some day to own a Barcelona chair, but I will never buy a chotchka because a magazine told me I should have one on my coffee table.

    When I moved into my new home, my mom and mother in law, as a housewarming gift, hired a local designer to come in and show me how to arrange the things I already had. She did a beautiful job, placed furniture in places I never would have thought of, hung pictures, suggested paint colours, etc and all for a very reasonable rate (I think she charged less than $100).

    I like making little vignettes too – using antique decoys, flowers in unusual vessels, my husband’s great great uncles pith helmet and cavalry sword, etc. Things change constantly, to make it interesting.

    I guess I’m not very trendy either. I like my old crap.

    • I would love to see your home–sounds very interesting-and I agree with you about books–cover them to make them attractive–such heresy!

  2. I like my old crap too…..sometimes I put stuff away for awhile, then get it out of storage and it’s new again. Love to repurpose my own furniture, for instance, I had a coffee table made into an ottoman.

  3. Old crap is a good thing–as is repurposing.

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